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Friday, May 8, 2015

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)



I’m going to admit something;  when it comes to life, I am highly unorganized. Completely shocking, I know. I have tried to get organized many times in the past. Every year, I buy one of those really nice 60 dollar “Life Planners” in the hopes that THIS year will be the year I actually use it to its full potential.  My homeschooling life isn’t much better. The fault isn’t entirely placed on me though; with Garrett it is just hard to plan anything and stay on course. Adjustments have to be made that might take us anywhere from a day to a week off course, depending on the meltdown he has or his mentality for that week. So when I was given the opportunity to review  Successful Homeschooling Made Easy, an online course that focuses on organization and planning designed by Stephanie Walmsley at Successful Homeschooling Made Easy, well, I wasn’t that interested to be honest. As luck would have it, I still was given the review and I am SOOOOO grateful that I was.

What Is It?

 

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy is a 26 week online course designed with homeschooling in mind. Each week, participants receive an email from Mrs. Walmsley containing a link in which you download the latest lesson.  Each lesson focuses on establishing a new “habit”, reinforcing the ones you have already started working on, as well as tips and advice to help you on your homeschooling journey. Each lesson features a small goal to add to your homeschooling that builds upon the goal from the previous week so that changes are not overwhelming and are easy to make.

Information covered in the weekly lessons include:
  • Schedules
  • Lesson plans
  • Organization
  • Planning
  • Teaching
  • Housekeeping
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Practicalities
  • Choosing curriculum
  • And much, much more 
Occasionally, a Bonus lesson is also sent that is independent from the weekly lessons. These are not scheduled at certain intervals but are random "rewards" that are sent. 

How Did I Use It?

 

As said above, I wasn’t very keen about this program to start with.  Organization is not my cup of tea; it just does not work for me..

Or as least, so I thought..

This program was EXACTLY for me.  This program is perfect for those of us who have failed miserably with past organization programs and have given up hope of every getting organized.

I went into this review thinking I would try my best to do what it asked of me but knowing in my mind that this would blow up in my face. That it would not work for my family because of some of the obstacles we face when it comes to Garrett and his moodiness.  The first week, the lesson said to print out 8 weeks worth of schedules and fill them out. I’ll admit it, I laughed at this and said “yeah, right!!”.. But, I printed them out and started filling them out..




 Here I am ending my 5th week of those 8 weeks and we’re still on track (for the most part).. We are 1 day behind on what was scheduled for math and that is only because yesterday we decided to use an extra day to review the previous lesson. As I scheduled today as a free day (to accommodate for any difficult days during the week), we can use today to get caught up.

Eight weeks of schedules, Literacy notebooks and our reading book all ready to go!!

Each week we have added the recommended goal for that week, such as classical music (we are now featuring one particular composer each week – this week is Fryderyk Chopin) which the kids have enjoyed.  We also have really enjoyed the suggestion of the literacy notebook and the kids enjoy having a bit of time to draw scenes from the book we are reading (right now it’s “Little House on the Prairie”).   This has given Ashleigh an opportunity to also try practicing the handwriting that she has been working hard on beyond just during her handwriting lesson.

 Literacy Notebooks Have Been a Wonderful Addition to Our Day


 I have filled in the new part into our schedule each week and over time we have noticed that we have came up with a very cohesive schedule. I have also noticed that the kids have enjoyed having a set schedule where they know what is coming up next. They remind me to start the music, let me know that after writing is lunch, and are quick to tell me it’s time for math when they are done with lunch.   They are getting use to the schedule and to be honest, so am I.

Mrs. Walmsley recommends printing out each weeks lesson and then putting them inside a binder but I knew for me that this would not be ideal. I am the type who would put it in the binder and never look at it again. For this reason, I instead opted to send the lessons to my Kindle and my nightly routine would be to lay in bed and read or reread the weeks lesson each night before going to sleep.

Final Thoughts:

 

When I am wrong, I will admit I am wrong.. I went into this review thinking it would not work for me but this is why other people come up with these types of programs, for people like me who have tried and tried various other ways and have failed.. Successful Homeschooling Made Easy is set up in such a way that the changes are very minor and easy to incorporate into your schedule without sending the existing routine into a tailspin and totally upending everything.  Because of this, it was very easy for me to work the program with success and with very little baulking from my kids. They not only accepted these changes but actually embraced them into our routine (okay, maybe not the chores so much.. lol).

Kid's weren't too thrilled about this particular week's addition
 If you’ve ever tried a program and it didn’t work for you, I would advise to keep trying and would highly recommend this particular system.  If it can work for me, Mrs Unorganized herself, then there’s a great probability that it will work for you as well .

You can find Stephanie Walmsley, the creator of the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course, on facebook as well as on her blog.  She also offers other E courses on her website such as a Charlotte Mason and Grammar lessons courses.


Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Review


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